Villa’s Premier League campaign ended in disappointment with a dour 0-1 home defeat to already-relegated Burnley on Sunday in a game which had a strange ‘post-season friendly’ feel about it right from the off. Ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup final, the club’s biggest day in a decade and a half, here’s the Good, Bad and Ugly of the final league game of 2014-15.
The news in the lead-up to the game of Scott Sinclair’s permanent signing was met with mixed reviews from Villa fans on social media. The £2.5 million deal may have been triggered by a clause in the terms of the loan deal agreed by Paul Lambert, which obligated Villa to make the loan permanent upon securing Premier League safety, but the winger has shown enough, prior to Villa’s change of system a few weeks ago, to suggest that he can be a useful player for the club under Tim Sherwood next season.
There’s not a great deal to say in this section about the Burnley game itself, but it was good to see a decent proportion of the crowd of nearly 41,000 stay behind to reciprocate the appreciation shown to the fans by Sherwood and the playing staff. The Premier League season may have fizzled out with back-to-back defeats, but Sherwood saved us from a potentially catastrophic fate, of that there can be no doubt.
Villa were 18th with 22 points, on a 10-match run without a win in the league, and had scored just 12 league goals – the lowest total in Premier League history after 25 games of a season – when Tim was appointed manager on Valentine’s Day. In the 13 league matches since his arrival, the club recorded five wins – as many as Lambert’s Villa had managed in nearly twice as many games – picked up 16 points, and scored 19 goals.
The transformation has been remarkable, even despite the disappointment of the last two results of the season. Factor in the FA Cup quarter-final and semi-final victories over West Brom and Liverpool and we owe Sherwood so much already, regardless of what happens on the big day on Saturday.
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